Theorizing and Researching the Dark Side of Organization Academic Article uri icon


  • The paper offers an introduction to research that concerns itself with the 'dark side' of organization and attempts to bring theoretical resources from a range of disciplines to bear upon the problem. This stream of research has emerged most visibly since the 1990s, although its concerns can be found in much earlier research. Frustrations with the tendencies of mainstream work to overlook, ignore or suppress difficult ethical, political and ideological issues, which may well mean life or death to some people, has in recent years led to a research that self-identifies its concerns as being with the dark side. We structure our review around key contributions on the dark side of organizational behaviour, mainly in psychology but also including the concept of organizational misbehaviour; the sociology of the dark side, with particular reference to mistakes, misconduct and disaster; and a wider range of critical approaches to the dark side including Marxist, post-Marxist and postcolonial perspectives. We also undertake a review of methodologies for investigating dark side phenomena, and finally introduce the five papers that comprise this special issue. © The Author(s) 2014.

altmetric score

  • 2

author list (cited authors)

  • Linstead, S., Maréchal, G., & Griffin, R. W.

citation count

  • 122

publication date

  • February 2014